DX1AE Review

manufacturer: Martin date: 04/04/2012 category: Acoustic Guitars
Martin: DX1AE
This guitar had an excellent tone. It was very bright and loud and held out through a variety of genres. This little guitar had a very surprising and pleasing sound to it.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.5
 Features: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (3) 3 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
DX1AE Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 04, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: Purchased this guitar brand new in 2010. It's my first guitar, but since I bought it I've played many fine Gibsons, Taylors, Guilds, Seagulls and what-have-you. 19 frets, gorgeous rosewood neck. Nice and slim, satin-finish neck. Very easy to play. Top is solid spruce, very thick top. The whole thing has a satin finish, which I actually really like the feel of. Dreadnought body with mahogany back and sides, though not solid wood. Simple, easy-to-use tone and volume controls located in the sound hole, which I particularly like. Can't stand it when the electronics are cut into the side of the guitar. Tuners are great, this thing stays in tune for way too long. I practically never have to tune it. Only cons as far as features go is that the battery is pretty much impossible to get to without removing the strings, and the bottom strap button is very shallow. Don't trust it... Over all a very simple, no-nonsense guitar. // 8

Sound: I play mostly classic rock and Indie folk. Think Beatles and Mumford & Sons. Works just fine in both instances. This guitar has a rich, loud sound. The spruce top seems to be thicker than on most other guitars, which attributes to the volume. I use Martin medium strings on it, and the tone is really dark and bassy, which I prefer. Sort of the anti-Taylor of guitars. Still, despite the massive bass sound I'm getting out of it, high notes still come out clean and full. Just a very rich, deeper sound with a lot of sustain. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Action is pretty average. Not insanely low nor unreasonably high. Factory set-up is just fine, no complaints. The only flaw is that the wood is getting chipped away at the bottom of the sound hole thanks to my medium pick and frantic strumming, but that's aesthetic and not really very noticeable. Fretboard is a little narrower than on other guitars, which takes some getting used to after playing something like a Gibson or Seagull. Seems to be geared a little more towards smaller hands, but it's entirely manageable for us folks with big mitts. Just don't expect it to be easy to play lead on the lower frets. No fret buzz anywhere, ever. Never had a single problem with this thing. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I'm ashamed to say that I accidentally dropped my beautiful Martin a full three feet onto tile, headstock-first. Picked it up, and it was totally fine. Seems to be very reliably built. I've bumped it a few times on walls and mic stands and whatever, but no blemishes anywhere. Strap button on the base of the neck is great, but the one at the bottom of the guitar leaves much to be desired. It's much shallower and wider than the other one, so big thick leather straps with tiny holes won't work at all here. I've never had my strap slip, and I don't think it ever will, but it still makes me nervous. Finish is great, I really love the feel of the satin. I expect this guitar to last me many many years. // 9

Overall Impression: This guitar sounds fantastic. Big rich sounds, plenty of sustain. Neck is easy to play chords on, and barring is a cinch. Just not the easiest neck for lead work. I've played plenty of much more expensive guitars, but I just keep coming back to this guy. Just can't beat the sound and feel. Before I purchased it, I played I compared it to a few other Martins, as well as a Taylor that cost about $300 more. This one beat them all out. LOVE this thing. Only thing I would consider changing is that bottom strap button. // 9

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overall: 7.8
DX1AE Reviewed by: Corey.Knight, on april 03, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 520

Purchased from: Long N McQuade

Features: Heres just a cut and paste of the features listed by Martin: - Construction: Mortise/Tenon Neck Joint - Body Size: D-14 Fret - Top: Solid Sitka Spruce - Rosette: Multiple Black/White Boltaron with Red Fiber - Top Bracing Pattern: A-Frame "X-1" - Top Braces: Solid Sitka Spruce 5/16" - Back Material: Mahogany Pattern HPL Textured Finish - Back Purfling: none - Side Material: Mahogany Pattern HPL Textured Finish - Endpiece: none - Endpiece Inlay: none - Binding: none - Top Inlay Style: none - Side Inlay: none - Back Inlay: none - Neck Material: Rust Stratabond - Neck Shape: Modified Low Oval - Nut Material: White Corian - Headstock: Solid/Standard Taper - Headplate: Mahogany Pattern HPL - Heelcap: none - Fingerboard Material: Black Richlite - Scale Length: 25.4" - # Of Frets Clear: 14 - # Of Frets Total: 20 - Fingerboard Width At Nut: 1-11/16" - Fingerboard Width At 12th Fret: 2-1/8" - Fingerboard Position Inlays: none - Fingerboard Binding: none - Finish Back & Sides: none - Finish Top: Hand Rubbed Finish - Finish Neck: none - Bridge Material: Black Richlite - Bridge Style: Belly - Bridge String Spacing: 2-1/8" - Saddle: 16" Radius/Compensated/White Tusq - Tuning Machines: Chrome Enclosed w/ Small Buttons - Recommended Strings: Martin Studio Performance Light Phosphor Bronze (MSP4100) - Bridge & End Pins: White w/ Black Dots - Pickguard: Tortoise Color - Case: Available as an option - Interior Label: Foil Label - Electronics: Fishman Sonitone Overall its a very plain guitar to Martin's standards and come with some excellent under the bridge electronics. // 8

Sound: This guitar had an excellent tone. It was very bright and loud and held out through a variety of genres. I primarily played blues/classic rock with it and the occasional classical guitar piece. This little guitar had a very surprising and pleasing sound to it. The pickup also sounded surprisingly good for what I expected of it. Very rich and clean tone. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action and finish on this guitar were, too my standards, excellent. I prefer little to no finish on my guitar and that is what I got. It hardly had any finish across the guitar and the action sat well in my hands. The finish also faded over the course I had the guitar and I began to notice it in only a few months. It gave the guitar that nice warn look. I used a medium string gauge and found no fret buzz throughout the time I had this guitar. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The reliability on this guitar is dreadful. It is one of the most delicate guitars I have ever owned. It needs constant attention and humidity... Lots of humidity. I had it in its case with a humidifier that I changed every so often but it wasn't enough and the body caved in a little which created fret buzz. I am not sure if it is just a fluke model but the bracing Martin uses in the 'x' models seems to be very delicate and this might be why it was so delicate. It was not worth the trouble to keep it under such an intense humidity level when there are many other guitars, both by Martin and by other manufacturers, which have a similar tone (if not better) for a similar price point. // 5

Overall Impression: If you have the patience and time for the humidity this guitar requires then its tone cannot be beat for such a low price. That being said this model was very lacking for what I've come to expect from Martin and I was almost afraid to ever let it out of its case. // 7

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